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Legionella Risk Assessment

What is Legionella?

Legionella is a bacteria which lives and breeds in water systems – both running and stagnant (ie swimming pools and hot tubs.) There are over 50 different types of which 19 have been found to cause ill health. Many different diseases can be caused, with Legionnaires’ disease being the most well-known. The 3 key factors to bacterial growth are temperature, nutrients and time. By removing one or more of these factors we can reduce the risk of contracting the disease.

Legal requirement

The approved code of practice L8 “the control of legionella bacteria in water systems” is now in its 4th edition. L8 (2013) came into force in November of 2013. L8 places a duty of care upon the duty holder and responsible persons to carry out an assessment to identify and assess whether there is a risk posed by exposure to legionella. Whether you are a landlord, business owner or company director you must ensure you are compliant with the latest regulations.

Who is responsible?

Whether you are a residential landlord with one property or a portfolio of properties; if you are a business owner, if you are a company director or if you’re responsible for Health & Safety of a building or buildings, you are classed as the Responsible Person. If your building has any kind of hot or cold water system, you have a duty to assess and control the risk of exposure to Legionella bacteria.

The Risk Assessment

The assessment process (which is a legal requirement, not a “nice to do”) involves one of our Legionella risk assessors visiting your premises, and carrying out a detailed assessment of the hot and cold water system’s and any other water system that may be present. The assessment will include the name of the duty holder and their management responsibilities, a description of the system, risk scores as required, current controls, monitoring, inspection, maintenance procedures, and recommendations for improvements. A schematic diagram will be provided and a review date will also be discussed.

 

Our Legionella risk assessors have proven competency and have been trained and assessed in accordance with the standards detailed in HSG 247 and British Standards 8580:2010.

 

Further reading:

More information about the dangers of not carrying out a proper legionella assessment can be found on the HSE website http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/hsg274.htm

 GOV.UK website – Legionnaires’ disease monthly surveillance reports 2018:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/legionnaires-disease-monthly-surveillance-reports-2018

Photo by Drew Hays on Unsplash

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